Science database

KNOWLEDGE BASE

We have gathered decades of scientific research from Great Britain, continental Europe and North America to share with people interested in diving deeper into the world of beavers.

This list of resources is being constantly amended and updated.

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Showing 525 articles

The feasibility and acceptability of reintroducing the European beaver to England. England: Natural England and People’s Trust for Endangered Species

Published by: Natural England

17th March 2009

Commissioned jointly, this report by Natural England and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species explored beaver reintroduction feasibility, contribution to habitat restoration targets and preparation for potential applications for beaver releases in England. Natural England’s Board has not yet taken a position on beaver reintroductions at the time of publication

Variation in abundance across a species’ range predicts climate change responses in the range interior will exceed those at the edge: a case study with North American beaver

Published by: Global Change Biology

1st February 2009

This study examines how North American beaver abundance varies across their range in Québec, Canada, and predicts their response to climate change. Today, beavers live at high density in the south and decrease northward. By 2055, beaver density is predicted to increase more in their current range than at the northern edge. Most monitoring efforts are focussed at the range edge, in areas where beavers may disperse into. This study shows that some of the most significant climate impacts - an increase in abundance within their current range - may be being overlooked.

Willow (Salix spp.) and aspen (Populus tremula) regrowth after felling by the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber): implications for riparian woodland conservation in Scotland

Published by: Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems

1st January 2009

Prior to the Scottish Beaver Trial (approved in 2008), another reintroduction proposal was rejected because of the risk to tree conservation. This study tests that case by examining two years of willow and aspen regrowth after beavers had felled them in Scotland. The results showed that both species regenerated very quickly and that tree conservation would not be threatened by a well-managed reintroduction of beavers. The text goes into more detail on tree regrowth patterns, for example showing how willow regrowth in inundated areas avoided foraging by both beavers and deer.

The beaver as an ecosystem engineer facilitates teal breeding

Published by: Ecography

18th August 2008

As ecosystem engineers, beavers play a crucial role in facilitating environments - in other words, making them more suitable - for other species. This Finnish study on the relationship between beavers and teal ducks spanned over a decade. It found that beaver ponds provided more resources (more food) and better habitat structure (bigger ponds, shallower water) for ducklings. This enabled a higher brood density and lower mortality compared to areas without beaver activity. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Reintroducing the European Beaver in Britain

Published by: British Wildlife

1st August 2008

This article summarises the preparatory work that had been undertaken for reintroducing beavers to Britain. Specifically, the feasibility and public desirability of such an initiative are described, as well as beavers' ecological and public health impacts. Potential management issues are highlighted in the article and Scotland's trial at Knapdale (2009) is said to be important in exploring these issues further.

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